The Parsi Gate, a heritage structure located just opposite Taraporewala Aquarium at Marine Drive, will soon be restored by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). The place is used by Parsi people to offer prayers to water.
Article by Bhagwan Parab | Asian Age
The Parsi Gate structure has two pillars of Malad stone with concrete pedestals having a height of 4.97 metres. There are stone steps, which have access to seashore, enabling people to enter the sea for offering prayers.
According to civic officials, the structure is in damaged condition with top portion of the pillars dislocated from its original position. The pedestal of concrete is also damaged at many places. Both the pillars are damaged and require repairs and extensive cleaning. The pavement is uneven and has to be replaced with basalt stone for its identification. The stone steps are also eroded due to sea waves.
“Since Parsi Gate is a heritage precinct, we had to take no-objection certificate from the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee for its restoration. We have sought details about the historical significance of the structure from the Parsi community. A plaque of information will be installed at the place,” said a senior civic official.
Maneck Dastur, a prominent Parsi citizen, said, “The structure was constructed long time ago even before Marine Drive was built. The Parsi donors, who built it, kept a small space there to offer prayers. We were lobbying to restore the structure, but the BMC said it would do it on its own.”
Noshir Dadrawalla, another prominent Parsi, said, “The place has got historical significance as Parsi congregate here once in a year to offer prayers to water that is seen as a keeper of wisdom and knowledge from the Zoroastrian point of view. The prayers are offered during the ‘Festival of Ava,’ which is celebrated to revere divinity of water. The pillars there represent part of the ancient Persian architecture.”
The estimated cost of restoration of Parsi Gate is Rs 12.46 lakh. The scope of work include fixing the top portion of pillars in its original position by providing steel pin for binding, repairs to the fracture stone, cleaning of stone, applying protective coat to prevent deterioration of stone surface due to high humidity and laying basalt stone flooring to match with pillar and steps.